All eyes are on the nation’s capital as abortion is back in the spotlight. The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on banning abortions after 15 weeks. Chief Justice John Roberts—a key swing vote—seemed open to allowing states to ban abortions earlier in pregnancy, while leaving some parts of Roe v. Wade in place. Roberts said: “If you think that the issue is one of choice—that women should have a choice to terminate their pregnancy—that supposes that there is a point at which they’ve had the fair choice, an opportunity to choice. And why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? So, viability, it seems to me, doesn’t have anything to do with choice. But if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time?”
A government shutdown is looming, again. Lawmakers have until midnight Friday to finalize a stopgap measure—or funding will run out. Sen. Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republicans are working with Democrats to avoid a partial federal shutdown and keep the government funded past Friday night. He said, “We won’t shut down … I think we’ll get there and certainly nobody should be concerned about a government shutdown.” Lawmakers are also facing a deadline on the debt limit commonly called the debt ceiling. The Treasury Department projects it may run out of cash in two weeks. If lawmakers don’t raise or suspend the borrowing limit, the United States could risk defaulting on its debt obligations for the first time.
And we sat down with Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, founder of the AAKOMA Project, to learn ways to deal with seasonal depression and stress. Dr. Alfiee said: “So I think, you know, one of the ways that we can deal with staying in the present, one of the ones that I love that’s portable, anybody can use, you don’t have to have a particular affiliation, is mindfulness. And mindfulness is purely the act of being present in the moment. So what does that look like? Sometimes it can look like an exercise that I talk about on my social media a lot is finding five things related to each of your senses. And then thinking about, for each of those things, what’s something you’re grateful for? What can you see right now where you’re sitting that you’re grateful for, you’re able to see? What can you taste right now? Do you have a cup of water besides you or a hot cocoa that you can taste that you’re grateful for? What can you hear? You have the gift of hearing, if you’re so able, what can you be grateful for that you could hear in the moment? The trees rustling or the wind blowing, or maybe you’re lucky enough to be by a beach—one of my favorite things to do—and you can hear the waves crashing. So finding a way to bring yourself right into the moment, sometimes is deep breathing and sitting quietly, and just counting so that your mind doesn’t wander. Those are some of the strategies I would say. So that mindfulness, that meditation, it might even be something like exercising. Paying attention to your riding your bike, or paying attention to as you’re walking, what do you see? Or paying attention as you’re petting your—have a puppy—petting your puppy? Those are all ways to bring yourself right back into the moment. And I think the more you can do that, it can really help you to avoid or at least avert some of those anxious and depressive feelings.”
Tune into Deep Dive as we explore these topics and more.